Monday, April 30, 2018
Art from ArtPropelled
The Sun today is fluctuating. Coming out to warm and then going back behind the clouds. Fugitive.
We called a color that--fugitive- in art classes if it wasn't "permanent". Light fast. We call people fugitive. If they run away and disappear.
This Moon shines into the skylight over my sink in the kitchen. I turn out the lights to go to bed--look up and the Moon and I communicate. It's not something I understand. I feel the pull. I raise my hand and hold the moon in my fingers. Imagine pulling it down and into my pocket. Over my heart.
Today I filled page three in that new mixed media art workbook. Page one (4/24) was a watercolor mix of circles. Page two is still in progress--I measured off squares to fill the page and then began making alphabet letters to fill the squares. I had to measure, erase, measure again. Finally, I have most of the letters. B is still a problem. W is way to large. L. Do I make the leg long or short. I have worked on this page for almost a week. Today I started page three (4/30) with circles again. Filled them with bits of text from the classifieds. Then, I didn't like it. Glued images from a food magazine--I think they are watercolors of worms and things found in soil. Two "worms and a circle with legs" and the work was good enough.
That's enough for today. I am melancholy. Spring is a time of new beginnings and I am trailing so many unresolved ties to the Past, things I should let go of..... perhaps I will write them on paper and bury them in the Earth. Where the Moon shines tonight.
Sunday, April 29, 2018
Smooth drawing paper. The classifieds. Glue Stick. Pilot narrow tip pen with black ink. I worked on this "doodle" for almost an entire year. I took it with me to the art group meetings. They loved looking at it. And each time there was a little bit more. I think it helped the work--that I felt easy about walking away from it....and then returning when I felt I had something to add.
A second "doodle" wasn't on smooth paper. Harder to get "into". This pictured Doodle is finished now--all the white parts covered in design.
I often WISH there was fabric to buy with this sort of collaged tiny text. To act as a "filler" with colorful print fabrics or black and grey and white prints. Perhaps there was during the years I stopped buying fabric. Stopped stitching pieces together. Stopped "making" as they say on the Pinterest sites.
Sunny and warm yesterday. I did a little grass pulling under the ground cover plants. Grass seems to continually grow under things. Makes the plantings look wild and unkept. I need to pile on some mulch to smother the grass. Careful to not pick up any ticks.
Rainy and colder today. A "Reading Day" or "Baking Day" (heat the house with the oven). We'll see which one I pick. And, of course, One Dollar Goodwill Day. I may check the Men's Section for linen shirts. Also a good day to start a fresh new Doodle.
Saturday, April 28, 2018
Just wet cotton fabric and cheap bottles of acrylic paint mixed with water. Let dry and then iron. Smooth surfaces, fade resistant and doesn't run in the wash. The ones I still have bits of and the ones in art pieces--look exactly alike. I would recommend a plastic shower curtain or kids plastic play table covering and a vinyl apron (on yourself). Or you'll by covered in paint as well. Any that gets on the floor is easily scraped off with a blade when it's dry. It peels up. It's acrylic.
Best sewn by machine as it can be difficult (but still doable) to get a hand sewing needle thru. But then I used a heavier cotton fabric. I think if I painted on the very fragile antique cotton I found in the Attic--the hand would be soft enough for easy hand stitching.
Walked around the property and woods yesterday looking for red Maple flowers to dye some cloth (like Jude) and came home with 45 grams of Maple flowers and a TICK. Attached to my right shoulder. We did a full body tick check. Only the one and G got it off me with the "tick tool". Gets the head out. I have my maple flowers, cloth, alum and water in a jar on the deck in the sun.
I have already vacuumed the entire house (mostly wood floors, the new tile floors in bathrooms and halls and some carpets). Things were very dusty. Tomorrow we turn the mattress. Every 90 days according to the tag on the new mattress. Not over but head to foot. Written in all capitals to not flip the mattress--ever.
No cooking shows on PBS today because they are running infomercials 24/7 most days. I've just about given up on PBS. I can watch the shows on Amazon anytime or on the computer.
I'm going to the grocery right now--I need more fruit and vegetables. Still trying to eat "mostly plants". G wants the computer--so--that's all folks.
Friday, April 27, 2018
Clean, White, Simple. Well, that's what I finally got in 2017 with the remodel. This picture from a magazine in 2008 went on my blog with the words "I want this". The windows I actually have go right to the floor. Which is divine. And then there's the French Doors. I still don't have white cabinets. And that bow window is history along with the mice that set up housekeeping inside it for years. What a treat that was.
And I still would like a cross leg table with French wire chairs. I'd like the chairs but I think I would hate sitting in them. Some things look wonderful and aren't that great in actual usage.
I painted fabric yesterday afternoon. Made quite a mess. Didn't get the results I wanted but did get some interesting things to work with. Moody Blues. Moony Blues. Nothing that looked like yesterday's fabric picture. I'm not the person who painted that 2008 fabric. I've shed that skin.
TiVo finally replied to G's email asking for assistance with the remote which would not turn the tv on or off or adjust the sound. The remote did an excellent job of controlling the TiVo. Period. We have been plugging in and unplugging the tv itself for six weeks. Getting old. But they emailed some "new to us" and not in the instruction booklet info. And we now have a fully functional remote. Until we don't. We turned the tv off and on with the remote. Adjusted the sound. Was wonderful.
Supposed to rain today. Getting cloudy and a bit bleak.
Today I am trying to think about the "HOW" of putting my fabric book together. How it will go. What size the pages themselves will be--the fabric content will vary in size and shape but be tacked to the pages. What fabric the pages will be cut from. So there will be some uniformity. And so it will "look" and "feel" like a book. In Jude's book she had double page spreads. That's something that might happen in the months ahead. So, today thoughts of page signatures. Book Construction.
What are you doing or making?
Thursday, April 26, 2018
The Way Back Machine known as a Blog. I went back to the posts from 2010. So many. I think I was trying for one a day. This image was from my "painting of fabric adventures" in 2008. I have no idea where it went or where it was used. It's "new" to me in 2018. It could be something I would make today. Moody. Moony. Atmospheric. I wish I had it in my hands right now. In all my visits to the "Attic" this fabric has never surfaced. But I have a picture of it. Taken by me.
Rain all night and into the early part of the day. There was warmth and some sunshine when I took the compost bucket out to empty in the compost pile. Now the sun is gone. I'm not complaining. The Earth needs rain.
I think my friend Grace has mentioned times of feeling "between" one Place and Another. In that space of not being Here and not being There. That is how things are with me. Not really knowing where I am. Or what I am doing. I have several projects up in the air, spinning slowly. My pages (I sewed another last evening), my reading, my drawing, my painting, my gardening.
Each...seems to gently move into the next. Overlapping at times. I try to control things but I don't think that is necessary. Sometimes "control" is pretty useless and I need to be mindful of that.
Anyway---I moved some images from 2008 into the picture file. We'll look at them in coming posts and talk about them. I admit to feeling like I was reading the words of someone else. I looked at some images and wondered where they came from. Like the one at the top of this post. It's like the other painted fabric I use and still have pieces of---but it's VERY different. Like a message I sent myself but didn't get or read until yesterday. Eight years later. There are more of those messages. Stay tuned.
Wednesday, April 25, 2018
To the left is a page I made last month with a few "additions" pinned on--auditioning. To the right are the very "loud" squares I cut and arranged and then stitched last evening (g said they looked like a carnival). I will be making a duplicate of the 10 square section far right to attach to the left side of the center piece.
As you can see--sometimes they stitch up straight and even and sometimes they go wonky.
It has to do, I think, with the tightness of the weave of the cloth.
The colors are strong. And I do like the wonky of the one on the left. Looks "hand sewn".
Today the weather has gone over to the "Dark Side" and clouds and rain are on the way. So, I will be going into the kitchen to make a large kettle of chicken soup for my husband and another kettle of chopped vegetable soup for myself. We will be wanting food that warms the body and soul. And I will write celery on the shopping list.
G and Riley are out on the path in the woods, trying to get the daily walk in before the rain. The WALK is non-negotiable with the dog. Riley has a check-list in his brain and he checks things off (and is within a 20 minute leeway) every single day. In fact, I think we could do away with a clock and just use the dog to tell Time. Riley would be happiest if we only did the things he likes. Like scratch his ears at 9pm every single evening followed by his (expensive) blue liver pill.
Yesterday Riley was barking to alert me to the UPS truck in our driveway and I had to hurry to let him out so he could collect the dog biscuit UPS gives to dogs. Then Riley returned to his dog bed and his nap. Mission Accomplished.
Tuesday, April 24, 2018
This is a portion of a blouse I purchased at Goodwill. I had intended to cut it up and use it in my work. But it is so lovely that I have left it in it's original condition. I can't wear it as I have increased in size due to a lack of active exercise.
My daily 2 mile walk is no longer possible due to the reactive asthma. I need to discuss this with my Pulmonary Specialist on the next visit. Perhaps a higher dosage of my inhaler prior to walking? I like walking and I have always been a good, strong walker.
As it is now, any walking, even from the grocery parking lot to the library strains the veins in my neck--alerting me to "danger" and I must stop and use my rescue inhaler and then wait before continuing to walk in cold weather, hot weather, humidity, wood smoke etc. I have never before, in my life, had to deal with the fragility of my own health.
In happier news, I have a new project to work on in the late afternoon and evenings instead of always reading. The selection of books at the library has diminished and I often leave empty handed. And reading on the computer is hard on my eyes still. I haven't worked out the best way to go forward on screen reading.
I went up in the attic (!!!) and searched in Gregor's box of hand dyed fabrics (inherited after her death years ago) and found a few that looked "joyful" together and then cut them into 1.5 inch squares and have them ready to be sewn together into "pages" for a Calendar Book. Shades of yellow (Gregor's favorite color), three shades of pink and one of green for the Spring chapters. Using the printed months from the calendar towel I found at Goodwill as Chapter Index. I'll also be using the antique white that I dye with plant based materials and tea.
I'll include other work in the same finished size so there will be more than 12 pages in the book. I will try and experiment as I go with a limited color and fabric vocabulary. Using some of the workshop prompts from SpiritCloth. I have a notebook next to the keyboard and draw different ideas and suggested assignments from Jude's blog and the free lessons. To remind me of things I might want to try and include in my "book pages".
This project holds great "promise" as a learning experience for me. The notebook with paper pages will hold idea prompts and the cloth book with sewn pages will hold experiments. I think there are enough blank pages in the paper journal to get me thru the next months. It will be fun to jot down ideas from internet sources and then try and put my own "spin" on them. Interesting to then have a book of cloth samples to go thru when "stuck" for ideas of "what to do now?"
Monday, April 23, 2018
Yesterday was sunshine and warmth here in Maine (flip flops on everyone). G and I carried the summer deck chairs down from the attic. Sat in them for a little while and then moved on to whatever chores we had on our lists. G cut back my ill-mannered raspberry canes to 4 inches. Heritage variety makes two sets of berries. One in July and one in September. If we cut back to 4 inches in Spring--I get no July berries and a whole lot of September berries. I vote for "whole lot of" in September every time.
Today G will cut and remove the wild blackberry canes and leave the domestic canes. So less blood letting when I pick berries. Usually, my ankles. Some day--in the far distant Future, I may get enough berries for a pie. But now, I settle for eating them as I pick them or just enough for one serving of yogurt and blackberries.
I will be doing the pruning of the blueberry bushes myself. I have four good ones and one iffy one. I get plenty of berries in a good season. I use them in my smoothies and a wonderful blueberry sour cream cake which I make as often as I can. The new (last year) peach trees have now flowered yet. Neither has the Queen of Plums formerly known as Stanley.
I have already cut fresh chives from my little mounds of chives to use on baked potatoes. Later these little mounds will be quite large and covered in lavender chive blossoms.
The garden looks fine. I worked hard just before Winter to get it all neat and evenly covered in chopped leaves. Doing the prep work in October makes April and May so much easier in the garden.And we are already a full 30 days behind with such a long cold Winter. It may not even be Time for tomatoes going into the ground until early July. 2 to 3 weeks later than usual. I have hoops and will use them to warm things up.
Well, I am off to the library. To return books. Find another book for G to read. Another two. He is doing so much better now that we stopped watching the news. Before, he couldn't concentrate on anything but "worrying". Anxiety and panic almost. Much less of that now with only newspaper news. Hoping you have a good day today--Doing something outdoors for an hour?
Saturday, April 21, 2018
Used my rescue inhaler THREE times at work. Could feel the veins in my neck struggling.
But the two classes at work were extra-ordinary. Morning class--all the seats occupied and we had a great learning experience. Everyone ready to grow vegetables. I walked up to the area by the cash register and talked with people etc. after class. I haven't that sort of wonder-filled teaching experience in many years.
Lunch was the container of chopped salad I made before breakfast. Apple, carrots, celery, radishes, walnuts and dried cranberries. Trader Joe's Muscat-Orange vinegar with olive oil. Delicious.
Afternoon class at 2pm--only three but we got into a great discussion on raised bed construction, size etc. They learned and I learned.
And then, I was out of energy and managed to pack my handouts, clear the table of exhibits and get my leftover salad, my bag and punch out my timecard. I was exhausted.
Really and truly unfit to be working any longer. At least at the greenhouse. I hoped to be able to make it across the yard, up the stairs and into the car to drive home. And finally, at home, I drifted to the couch and crumpled.
A good hot shower and my pajamas and I watched Sense and Sensibility and am now going to bed.
Thursday, April 19, 2018
Which is what I should have named this fabric piece from my own collection. Too many plates spinning above my head right now, it seems, even though I am doing absolutely nothing.
Watched Sense and Sensibility yesterday. Then La La Land to see what all that was about last year. and then Inferno. I could have done some hand stitching while I watched but S+S held my complete attention. I have plans to watch it again today. I just wish more of them were available to watch this week. Persuasion. Yes, I would like to see that again.
I have one big bowl of vegetable soup for lunch or dinner today. Then I have to make it again (which I enjoy as there is lots of chopping). Soup on cold days and chopped salad on warm days. Either way--almost 100% vegetables. I sort of enjoy not having much choice. I like wearing the same clothing day after day (I have multiples of the same items--a uniform) and eating the same foods. Not having anything to think about in those areas. Rather like a monk. I would have been happy as a monk. Perhaps the next Life. Working in the kitchen or the garden.
Try as I might---today I have to go up into the attic. I don't think I will be content until all of the Attic content is right back in the house proper. Or gone. But as the seasons change my Winter clothing goes up and the Summer clothing comes down. Never both in the same closet.
Wednesday, April 18, 2018
Image from blog "woman with wings"
I may have already posted this image-- but today it says "rainbow" and that's the image I wanted on the blog today. We had sunshine. Bird song. Mild breezes. Had. Now we are under heavy clouds. No sun. No birds calling. My plants are out on the deck getting some solar energy.
Riley found the "deep water" in the woods and went swimming. He was very happy about that as his winter coat is getting heavy and itchy. When we go out in the morning to "get the paper" he will find the last little patches of snow and roll over and rub his back. Roll and roll and roll. He's smart enough not to roll in mud. Mud equals bath. Doesn't care for bath.
I read a blog this morning and the writer mentioned roasted beet salad in one of her posts---I had a bag of beets in the fridge and they are now cooling from their roasting. Gosh, I was happy to have them in the fridge. I love it when I read a recipe (which reads as delicious) and I have the stuff to make it right here in the house. There were radishes also. And I have radishes. There was goat cheese. But I don't like goat-anything. So I will use the ball of fresh mozzarella in the cheese drawer.
G has asked for a pot of his special "heart by-pass" spaghetti sauce. The only thing he would eat after he got home to recover. Surgery does funny things to people and their taste-buds. I was going to write how many years that was -ago but I don't remember. How odd is that???
On the first page of my new art notebook--I drew a circle and then made a sort of mandala design. G saw it and I offered it to him to color. He has been doing snowflakes. I guess he wanted something new--so now he has a very organic mandala to color. Which is fine. Even good.
Tuesday, April 17, 2018
From Art Propelled.
No sunshine today. No blue sky today. Drizzle. The weather report is so important these days as we all are pulling for a warm day. For green grass. For bud break on the flowering trees.
G has taken his chain saw to the woods path. A tree fell across in the winds of last night. They howled. Riley shivered. I slept. The positive side--there is no longer any snow piled on the roof.
I had coffee with my friend. We talked. Then we walked down Maine Street (here in Maine each Town has it's own Maine Street-- like in England--always a High Street) At the end is a Natural Foods Store. Organic things. Miso. Yogurt. Rice noodles. Grass fed meats. And Standard Baking baguette. Which I am eating with tons of good butter right now as I type. I carried it home under my arm--feeling very French.
I also stopped into the local bookstore. And purchased two lovely cards to send good wishes to friends and then, as usual, stopped to look at the blank books and journals. There was one that had a ring binder and inside sheets of paper "suitable for watercolor, ink, pencil" I picked it up. Looked at it. Put it down, walked away. Then went back and picked it up and carried it quickly to the cash desk--before I could talk myself out of it. A book. For watercolors. My first love. Not cloth. Not oils. Not pen. Watercolor. I'm thinking-----one picture a day---? A visit to the attic for paints and brushes. Waiting for me up in the attic--for too long.
We'll see. I hardly recognize myself these days.
Monday, April 16, 2018
G is trying to find a way to make me an indoor potting area while we wait and wait and wait for Spring. Someplace inside but also someplace where the dirt won't matter. Right now I re-pot in the kitchen sink. I water my orchids in the kitchen sink. I start my seeds in the kitchen sink.
It gets messy. But easy enough to sweep up fallen soil, wipe up the puddles, run hot water to flush the disposal. And the compost bucket is handy (right next to the sink) for any leftover soil, dead leaves etc. It works. And best of all the light from above (skylight) is perfect. Water on the wood floor is not the best idea but eventually I will have a tile floor (exactly like the one in the hallway) and water won't matter. And, who cares anyway????? We're Old and never see People and the house isn't For Sale. Let the damned floor warp.
This "finding" of space is a constant in this house. The house is very big. Too big for two adults and one dog (he has three beds so he can sleep close to us- wherever we are and still finds a fourth place to sleep). And the house is usually too full of everything we have bought, found or been given. We let go. More comes in. It's like the Tide. Only it's things.
Today I am trying to "Choose" what to do. The "work" of the the day. I could start on another baby quilt for Connie's group. I could make another "page" for my Spirit Cloth Work Book. I could do some hand quilting on the charity quilt we (my quilt chapter) started 20 years ago (it seems) and left in my hands. The batting is puffy. So it's not easy.
I could also just give up and start reading another book. I am into the "book a day" reading cycle. Yep. It's getting hard to find SEVEN books a week at the library. I do have back up. Wolf Hall and Pride and Prejudice in the book pile on the attic stairs. And 25 or more romance paperbacks in the cupboard. I have read them many times each. My all time favorites. I don't usually get into them unless I am seriously depressed. Which I am not.
But I might be if it doesn't stop being Winter.
Sunday, April 15, 2018
It's cheerful. But..mostly because of the little crow. He might become my "symbol". The "'page" of 35 one inch squares --middle, bottom row--- got some little "planets" and carefully chosen bits stitched on. It looks sort of like a calendar to me. I have numbers from a selvage strip. Thinking about adding them to make it more like a calendar, but it could be too much so perhaps a few more planets. Or some embroidered "orbits". I had to walk into the kitchen to ask G what the path of a planet was called. I can describe the word I want in great detail. I just can't "grab" the word from my memory. If I'm just relaxed and talking--all is well. If I pause....all is lost.
Bottom row left--I had to make a new page of solid old white. I lost the first one. Possibly in the Bohemian Coffee Shop. I am going for coffee tomorrow morning--will see if they found it. The new one is a whole different size--but made with the same size squares. I like the bottom row far right- so cheerful. I was "using up" all the tiny squares I had piled up. Same size as the ones sewn in the all white one. How does this happen?
Center top. I had chunks -small scraps- of this blue. And the bleach resist moon. I just kept stitching the bits together and now have this. The first Part of an new story cloth I think. Five pieces sewn together. What story will the cloth want to tell?
Today the weather has changed. Colder. The mailbox door was frozen shut. It's raining and freezing.
A SOUP day if there ever was one. Riley is curled into a very tight circle with his nose under his leg. Conserving heat.
Yesterday at work. Teaching. And then some repots. Lunchroom conversations. Letting everyone tell me their stories. Being seen and spoken to by my returning customers. Tired. At a distance from it all. Being asked to return to work. It all was getting too heavy for me, too complicated and I left for home after my 2pm class. Hot shower. Couch. Book. Sleep.
Friday, April 13, 2018
But very nice, indeed. The Sun is gone again and even though the thermometer says "warm" it feels cold here in the house. This pile of fabric feels warm. Welcoming to the artist in me.
I stopped reading for a day. Returning to cutting and picking very terribly done cross stitch from a heavy linen tablecloth I found at Goodwill. Last time I did this, five guys were banging and hammering my entrance hallway floor. Breaking up tiles. Taking out my front door.
This time I am "picking out" the thread while watching, rather casually, as Trump gets Trumped. When it gets to be too much--we unplug the tv. Our TiVo remote still refusing to control the on/off or volume on the tv. It will do everything else.
G is going away for the day to do things I don't care to do. Riley and I will do things we like to do here at home. I also have a Saturday class to prepare for: Container Gardening.
I am feeling less stressed each day. It's a slow process and I am only scheduling "light" things. Laundry. Magazine reading. Staring out the window. The most stressful activity today will be sorting thru my box of class envelopes to find the materials I want for tomorrow. Made easier by my putting materials into big envelopes and writing contents in fat black marker on each. I think I did that last Spring. There are classes in there I am no longer asked to teach. My co-worker (with my encouragement) has been asked to take those on by our employer. I saw that as a positive in my eventually letting loose of the job. He saw it as a way to cover his .... if I up and left.
Well, the washer has finished and the dryer is beeping. Time to go back to work.
Thursday, April 12, 2018
The sun is shining. One of the doors is open. Riley has been swimming in the deep water along the walking path. I set one of my citrus trees outside--gave it a hard pruning and some blue water.
It must be Spring?
I am feeling less nervous, less tense, less like I might splinter into bits and pieces.
Wednesday, April 11, 2018
I'm hoping to actually be working outdoors at some point this April. We are in for a few days of nice weather. High 40's and maybe even 50 tomorrow. Until then I am enjoying my indoor plants. Clivia--two big pots are in blossom right now as are the kalanchoe (spelling) plants in about four different colors. My Christmas Cactus are blooming as well. The whites, apricots and pinks. They are out of sync. My asparagus fern has no flowers but is winding it's fronds all over the other plants and the French doors. Fern gone wild. And my Night Blooming Ceres is growing overnight it seems.
I wrote checks and signed tax returns and sent them off to the post office with G. I have had a few panic attacks since Monday. So not like me. But I may have to stop doing the taxes if this happens next year. Unfortunately, our property taxes are due the same time as our taxes. Anyway. The checks were written. The money is gone.
I read Persuasion today. I had read that other Austen-look-a-like "By The Book" which was a take off on Austen's Persuasion. I couldn't remember reading Persuasion. So I picked it up at the library and sat down today to read it. Hard going at first with the style of wording, etc. But by the mid-point it was "reading" like a 2018 novel. How odd is that???
I don't think I ever read it. I think my entire experience with the book was the movie or PBS. Which I loved. I'm checking Netflix tomorrow and if it's there--I'm watching it. Maybe twice.
I am sitting here feeling light headed and dizzy. Going to bed. Hopefully I will sleep and feel rested and like myself tomorrow.
Tuesday, April 10, 2018
Perfect Potager. I like to imagine the sound of walking on the gravel paths. Can you get a sense of the size by the owner in the very top right of center? And the two benches. Sigh....
When I watch Masterpiece Mystery, my favorite thing is when the detective walk on pea gravel. Up to the big house, university or car park. I also like when they sit outdoors drinking tea or beer---mostly Detective Lewis and the tall blond guy. But before they can drink or sit--they have to walk on the gravel. Crunch, crunch...crunch.
G decided on chicken soup for supper. So I went to the grocery to get celery. I had everything else. Always prepared to make chicken soup--his favorite. I had a bowl of vegetable soup for lunch and have no idea what I will have for supper. Perhaps more vegetable soup.
I'm still worn out from yesterday, so I'm going to try and read a book--or just sit quietly and close my eyes. It would be super wonderful if I fall asleep--but napping is something I have never, ever been able to do. Even as a baby.
And speaking of babies--they had the cutest, tiny little baby yogurts at the grocery. Sort of a large thimble size. Yo Baby. My Sam loved pineapple Gerber yogurt back in 1969/70. When she was being fussy I would pull a jar out of the cupboard, show it to her, pop the cap and she was on her very best behavior.
Monday, April 09, 2018
Scraps. Opportunities for making things. Better than doing taxes.
Whatever could go wrong---did. What a cluster ......... But now the envelopes for the daughter are addressed and going to the post office and G and I can write horrendous checks as a "learning experience" of what not to do. Live and learn and don't repeat.
I am feeling like a wrung out dishtowel. Not an ounce of energy left.
Daughter and I had a bowl of vegetable soup, a buttered biscuit and a quiet chat. Doesn't happen often enough. So that's the golden side of the day.
A good night's sleep and I can forget the whole taxing experience. Turbo Tax. When it's good it's very very good and when it's acting up...it's awful.
Sunday, April 08, 2018
My new dining room carpet. My beloved slippers (men's Acorn). My regular Goodwill purchased LLBean corduroy pants ($8 versus $68).
I have just purchased (this past week) Men's "professional work" Crocs. In black. I may not wear them now but certainly next Winter. Closed so no chance of wet socks. I think they are "restaurant grade" so non-slip. Pricey. I do like rubber shoes. And SmartWool socks. A team made in heaven for gardening people. The shoes can be washed and the socks never indicated your feet might be wet. Always feel warm and dry. Happy Camper socks as my daughter would say.
Today I am making up another big pot of vegetable soup and roasting my latest bag of baby beets. I will run out of celery on this batch of soup but I need to have soup in the fridge for when I get hungry. Otherwise I eat things I am trying not to eat. Things made of wheat. Which then makes my eyes itch. Bananas are 39 cents a pound so I am buying big bunches and letting them get "ripe" and then wrapping then in foil and into the freezer (for future smoothies).
The "Green Plate" cooking column author fell victim to the InstaPot craze in today's Sunday paper. If that wasn't bad enough--she praised to the heavens the hard boiled eggs. OMG!!!! I am getting so tired about reading about the easy peel eggs. Who eats that many eggs???? But in her defense she recorded the ACTUAL time it takes to cook in the pot. The time to build pressure (30 minutes or more) the cooking time and then the time to release pressure 30 to 60 minutes. So, the 20 minutes to make beans is actually nearly 1.5 to 2 HOURS. Plus the "steam cleaning of her wood cabinets during release " which is not what I would call a "good thing".
Today is Do The Taxes Day. So...........I feel like a person who is going off to prison. Already jittery. Nerves all on edge. Worrying about missing pieces of paper.
Saturday, April 07, 2018
Two different styles. I like having one on top of the other. The little Crow was in with some fabric and I stuck him on the wall so he wouldn't get lost. He fell down. So here he is on another perch. Which he seems to like. Whimsey.
We have been having some computer issues and some "abuse" which has been reported. The bad actors in this World keep trying.
I spent quite a bit of time yesterday with the fabric sorting. The days are starting to "get sway with us" as far as getting anything done. Not having a schedule.....well, retirement is rather "looser" in Time Management than I like. We ended up watching recorded shows off the TiVo. Thank goodness TiVo doesn't take a "time out". It helps that I do try and schedule things on the TiVo.
I also sorted thru all the paperwork that has piled up here. Trying to get ready to FINALLY do the taxes--I had such high hopes of doing them in early March. I put it off because it's tedious and in the end it takes about 3 hours and it's done. and then I say to myself....why put it off???
New books. I visited the library. New food. I visited the grocery store. My coffee creamer had gone bad. Eeewww.
Not much else going on. The snowfall of yesterday is melting. The sun is shining.
Friday, April 06, 2018
Trees are trying to bud and blossom but very cold nights and brutal WIND is making the transition difficult. Drip, drip, drip from the roof, trying to shed it's coating of snow....holding tight.
Yesterday began VERY early--like 5:30. We were having an old oil tank removed and a new tank installed. The old was installed as the house was being built. Yes, when the house's foundation was open and the tank was just set down. Now, well, there's a whole house on top and only the crawl space door---so they had to empty the tank and then.......big guys struggled to get thru the doorway and then work in a 4 foot tall space to cut up and then remove the leaking tank. Oh...they were not happy. And it took most of the day. And it was LOUD.
The new tank went in easily. Standing up in the garage under a window (but not showing) painted a nice forest green. We're all hoping G doesn't drive his lawn mower into it while parking.
The house was lightly scented with the smell of petroleum all day. (ugh) I had kept the hall door to the bedroom wing closed. The BANGING made for a difficult day for Riley. We put on his calming collar and calming drops the day before (thunder) so he napped quite a bit and was actively interested in the workmen (who snack and eat good things) all day yesterday. I'm sure he was hoping for some coffee. He LOVES coffee but we don't give him any. Sometimes the workers set their cups on the ground............. Riley takes advantage.
I spent last evening reading a first novel by Julia Sonneborn titled By The Book. A modern retelling of Jane Austen's Persuasion. Well........I may have to re- read Persuasion but this seems kind of a stretch but the author is an English professor. I read it straight thru to the end in one sitting. Look forward to reading anything else she writes. Pride and Prejudice?
Sorting fabric. Usually means I'm going to be making something. Sorting fabric. Sorting thoughts.
Another full week of no news other than the morning paper which is easy enough to read or move on. Quiet..not shouting. G watched (with sound off) a FOX news panel of blondes in short tight skirts and high heels sitting on a low couch (oh. my. goodness.) yesterday while eating his lunch. Oh, those Republican men and their blondes. Stormy with a chance of lawsuit.
Thursday, April 05, 2018
The blog. We're going way back. Twenty years maybe. Or just seeming to be that long ago. Pre-dating the blog, certainly. Back to the future.
I was traveling with some quilting friends all the way up north to Litchfield to a quilt shop in an old log cabin heated with a big wood fired cookstove. It had electricity and bolts and bolts of old fashioned -- brand new fabric. My quilting friends were interested in Civil War type prints. I became interested in Baltimore Appliqué of the more primitive variety. No silks. No ribbons. Though I later made my way into that.
This wasn't one of the purchased designs. I think I got this pattern out of another, fancier book. And used my limited (by design) colors. Now that I look, I can see another choice of blue here and will be going back to the attic to find the remainder (I hope) of the blue in the vase. Everything is hand sewn. Even the sawtoothed sashing. Reverse appliqué. I cut open the print squares, folded back the edges and appliquéd. The block measures 22.5 across the midpoint including the sashing.
This block will get it's last border when I sew it to the next block. But you already knew that.
I mentioned the blue because I am almost OUT. And need more for the outside borders which will be appliquéd with motifs from all the inside blocks. There were supposed to be 8 inside blocks. I think we are closer to 12. I have a fat handful of finished sawtooth borders. Not enough. I went on a 90 mile round trip of the State of Maine (G drove) looking for more of the dotted background. I have plenty of that!!! I didn't think to look for or buy more blue.
But first......I put all the blocks on the dining room floor and then attached notes to the ones I think need work. Some need parts removed (birds). Some need different fabrics (unsew and replace). Some need additional fabrics (circles need double centers). Some will donate their appliqué fabrics to the others. I don't need them all.
My memories of the criticism these blocks (and ME) engendered has faded. My choice of the dotted background was greeted with criticism--was I weak in the head? It wasn't "correct". My choice of hand reverse appliqué over using the sewing machine was seen as "showing off." Life in a quilt guild was hard on me at times. And I was even President of the chapter at one time. They still whispered behind my back. My colors were too "loud" and not "Period Specific"
But, I am retired now and enjoy hand sewing in the evenings ( and I don't go to Guild Meetings). So, I hauled the blocks out. And will happily hand appliqué until they are un-sewn, re-sewn and sashed. Life in the Slow Sew Lane. And I did find three designs I drew but didn't make. So there is room to grow....... but I am wondering who will ever use this fancy quilt? Who was EVER going to want it or need it or use it? Perhaps, that was more why I didn't finish... the quilt had no where to go.
Wednesday, April 04, 2018
From the top down. I added the orange/rust fabric and the grey rust print to a three quarter pack of grey (there's a section of white and black stripes) the dark grey with white dots and the grey black white check. At the very bottom is 1.25 yards of a green tinged grey linen. The linen will be an apron or a shirt. To the far right--a little sketch I made in the 2008 journal. It's the "cartoony" style I fight to get away from--perhaps I should stop fighting it?
My two fabric additions to the packaged fabric brought a comment "ah..interesting" from the sales person. I left wondering if a new pack of five fabrics would be in the store's basket by closing.
I went there to find BOY fabric. For a boy baby quilt. Nada.
I LOVE the yard stick ribbon holding the pack together.
The second thing I went looking for was "text". Printed words on fabric. The only thing I found was fabric printed with sales receipts. I stood there looking at it for quite awhile. Wondering how that could be used....by someone......but not by me. I am left with making the Dick and Jane fabric work for a boy...with the Dick and Jane text printed fabric. Or not. I am seeing another visit to the Attic in my near Future. But it's so cloudy and dark today--the Attic will be so depressing.
We are having our old (leaky) oil tank removed tomorrow--it will be very smelly. We both have asthma. So we could both end up with breathing problems, coughing etc. We may have to spend the day--somewhere else. But the house will still be stinky when we return. The new tank will be in the garage not the crawl space.
The house is dark....the outdoors is dark. Everything is wet. I'm going to go turn on lights.
Tuesday, April 03, 2018
I am cold today. I was sort of ready for "warming" and instead we got "chilly". I went with G to the vascular doctor's appointment he had. Good news--vascular-ly--he is in tip top shape. Now they are suggesting another type of specialist to check on treatment for his ice cold feet and hands.
While we were in the area (laughing) I visited a "real" quilt shop. It's Shop Hop week. Brought back memories of my many years of "shop hopping". Times and fabrics have changed. The fabric I saw were totally out of my Zone. More of the Modern Quilt vibe. But I did get 5 fat quarters of prints I had no familiarity with and 1.25 yards of a nice green beige linen. And a pattern. If I had had my phone with me--a photo would have been enough. I never actually follow a pattern. It's the way I was born. Actually it is--- I had my natal chart read. I will never actually follow a pattern. Not in my DNA.
Then G and I stopped and had Lunch/Dinner. We're done eating for the day. Riley isn't happy with us and is refusing to be happy to see us. He thinks he should have been included but it would have been too cold, for too long for us to feel comfortable with him in the car alone. He's pouting.
I have a nice down lap quilt calling my name and a romance novel to read. That's it for today.
Monday, April 02, 2018
Moonshine by Janis Goodman via Art Propelled
Last night the Moon was high in the clear sky. Shining into my windows. Shining thru the slivers of dark in the window blinds. Trying to come inside. The last thing I remember before sleep was smiling at that Moon inside my bedroom.
Today, the Sun has taken itself away. It's cloudy with a chance of snow. Other's in Kentucky and New York already have reported snow or posted pictures of their snow. No wind.
I got down and into the cupboards looking for a new journal. Ended up looking at and reading an old one. One where I was trying for some small thing (art) each day. To make something, draw something etc. I would be able to do it for a few weeks and then stop. But those few weeks.....the me of 2018 is very impressed with the me of 2008. I was really very creative.
I carved an entire set of numbers and alphabet letters into poly erasers. And used them on many pages in the journal. I THINK I know where they are.........the Attic. I would make a small sketch and then riff on it to see how many variations I could think up. Pages. What I should do....when I can't think of anything or when I feel I have nothing creative inside myself....is dig out an old journal and continue what I started. Use one of the sketches as a seed to grow into something new.
Now the journals will be another place for me to "go looking". The bookcase and the attic.
Today the Grocery Store. I have a list and I need bananas and mangos and red bell peppers.
I am eating Not Too Much and Mostly Plants.
Sunday, April 01, 2018
Some think of Bunnies. I LOVE these carrots that I made so long ago. The brown fabric shouted "dirt" to me--good dirt with microbial microsystems. And Easter Bunnies must love Carrots.
I managed to put together a meal for Easter Dinner. Baked chicken stuffed with ham and cheese, steamed broccoli and steamed Jasmine rice. I purchased a small carrot loaf cake for G with cream cheese frosting and orange frosting carrots on top. Nothing for me. Well, I did get a carton of vanilla ice cream.
G has been eating pasta and a pork/mushroom ragu sauce I made for him this week and I had another pot of the vegetable soup to divide between 4 different days. We eat at different times. We eat different foods.
I have been busy cleaning. Clearing surfaces of "stuff" and throwing most of it into the recycling bin. I need to crawl under the art table (or pull it away from the bookcase) and find a new journal to work in. My previous one is full of the remodel and design ideas etc. Also recipes from the Elimination Diet. That journal must cover at least 2 full years.
I was wanting to mount some of the 5 by 7 fabric "pages" into the journal. Whatever journal I choose to use. I used to buy them 4 or 5 at a time (if I liked the smoothness of the pages) and most are filled. I think there are two or three blank ones in the bookcase. I have to go looking. I did buy some with spiral bindings. So I could put thicker things on the pages--even a pocket for index cards. I write on index cards all the time. In fact, a favorite gift for me to get is index cards. White 4 by 6. My husband and daughter always buy me the colored cards. They like colors. I like white. I have like 5 packages in the desk drawer right now--I just looked and counted. And at least a dozen with things written on them: recipes, direction, books to read, drawings etc. So pages with pockets for my index cards.
You know, for most people, the New Year begins in January. For me and I think most Gardeners, the year begins now--in April. Buds on the trees, pussy willow catkins, crocuses breaking ground, dirt where the snow has melted.
I'll be teaching two gardening classes this month. Which is making me think ahead a few weeks.
The Moon woke Riley up again at 3am. He came to get G. I think he wanted company looking at the Moon.